You want to be fit when pregnant, and it’s smart to start getting in shape before baby arrives. But once you’re with child, some of those exercise guidelines change.

Let’s talk about why exercising before + during pregnancy is an awesome thing.

Prenatal exercise:

—Helps you maintain healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy

—Can bust stress

—Gives you more energy and improves your mood

—Allows you to sleep better (which becomes harder as your pregnancy progresses)

—Can reduce unpleasant pregnancy symptoms like backaches and constipation

—Prepares your body for birth

Prenatal yoga, swimming, walking and stationary bikes are all great ways to stay active while trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy.

As you’re thinking about your prenatal exercise routine, stick to these guidelines.

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If you exercised before your pregnancy, it’s probably fine to keep doing it.
If you are new to exercise, make sure to ease into it. This is not the time to start training for your first 5k.

Listen to your body.
If you start to feel lightheaded, dizzy, crampy, overly tired or have any vaginal bleeding, stop right away and call your doctor or midwife.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
And eat lots of nutritious foods.

Things to avoid:

Contact sports
Skip sports like basketball as well as activities where falling is a likely, such as skiing.

Exercising in excessive heat
No hot yoga, please.

Activities that include a lot of bouncing, twisting and jumping
Rebounding class will have to wait.

Holding your breath for a long time
Your synchronized swimming career is officially on hold.

Exercising with the goal of losing weight
Um, nope.

Make sure you discuss any exercise plans with your medical provider before you get started. As your pregnancy progresses, certain conditions may come up that would require you to stop exercising for a while, so be sure to keep asking questions if you’re unsure.

You’ve got this.

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